USA B Visas

The United States does offer visas for those who intend to enter the United States on a short-term visa fro the purpose of tourism, airport transit or for business people on business trips. The B-2 visa which is often referred to as the US tourist and travel visa is a non immigrant American visa and cannot be used as a bridge visa towards applying for permanent residence within the US. The B1 business visa should not be confused with the US Work Permits and Employment based Green cards. This visa is also a temporary visa and it obligates its holders to return to their country of residence upon the visa expiry.

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Do you need a USA visa to visit America? Find out by taking the free USA immigration assessment with Global Visas. A visa for USA travel is not always required, so be sure to take the assessment to find out your requirements.

B-1 Visitor for Business Visa

Many countries do not permit the holders of their short-term visas to work while on this visa, the same rule applies to the US B-1 visas. The B-1 is perfect for those who need to enter the USA for a variety of short-term business activities. Under the B-1 visitors to the US can attend meetings and conferences and are allowed to undertake ‘fact-finding’ missions to source potential suppliers and markets. Many business travellers are interested in investment opportunities in the US and business travellers who hold the B1 visas are allowed to travel to the US to make an investment or to assemble new plans and procedures if opening an American branch of a foreign-based commercial enterprise, such as finding a new building to set up the new branch, hiring personnel or even just opening bank accounts for the company.

B1 visas have a maximum limit of one year; however the US law can sometimes take in consideration the purpose of the visit and may grant a B-1 visa according to the length of the business trip purpose.

B-2 Visitor – Pleasure Visa

The US B-2 visa is one of the frequently granted visas for those visiting the United States as tourist and it can sometimes be awarded to applicants who are visiting friends and family, participating in short educational course or who would like to receive medical treatment in the US. The maximum duration for a B2 visa is six months. The B-2 visa can be extended for another six months if the candidate can prove that heir visit is still one on temporary basis.


Applicants looking to settle in the US on either one of the permanent residence visas i.e. the green card, they may need to prove that they have specific qualification etc. to apply for those visas. An applicant applying for the B1 and B2 visas does not need to worry so much about specific qualifications as this visa is only intended for short-stays within the US and may not be used as a working visa or towards applying for permanent residency.

The USA immigration authorities do place emphasis upon applicants demonstrating that they intend to return to their country of residence on or before the expiry of their United States visa hence applicants will have to prove that they intend to go back home by making it evident by proof of a job, family ties that they will be returning to their country of residence.

The most important requirement for most visa application in the US is to prove that you can financially support yourself throughout your visit.

Visa Waiver Pilot Program

The US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) permits nationals from certain countries to visit the United States of America for a period of up to ninety days or less without needing a visa. The VWP was established in 1986 with the aim of encouraging free travel for tourism in the United stated for certain nationals. To qualify under the VWP applicants must belong under the specified countries who are under the US VWP and they must be in possession of a return ticket or onward ticket to another destination excluding Canada. In order to qualify, applicants from participating countries must be in possession or a return or onward ticket to another destination, excluding Canada. At present this programme applies to the majority of European Union states. A Global Visas immigration consultant will be able to advice as to whether your country of residence participates in this programme.

Spouse immigration and Dependent Immigration

Neither the B1 visa or B2 visa are intended as routes to permanent lawful residence in the USA and as both are regarded as temporary visas services, no specific provision is made for the spouse and/or dependent of the applicant to travel to the USA with them. In the case of a B1 visa application, spouse and dependents cannot obtain a B1 visa to accompany the main applicant although they may be able to get a B2 visa to do so. For B2 visa applications any such dependents who with to accompany the principle holder will be required to obtain their own US entry clearance.

B1 in lieu of H1-B Visa

In some circumstances, a B1 business visitor visa may be granted “in lieu” of an H-1B visa. The US H-1B visa, which is essentially a long-term work permit for skilled migration to the USA id granted to applicants with exceptional ability in their field and is often the preferred route to permanent residency, allowing candidates to begin Green Card proceedings whilst in the country. The ‘in lieu’ arrangement may occur where the work being carried out would normally require an H-1B visa, but the applicant’s salary is paid by a non-US source, hence the non-employment rule of a B1 visa is not breached,. However, the arrangement may only be initiated where, like an H1-B visa, the work is in a speciality “occupation”, the candidate is permanently employed by and paid by a non-USA company and the candidate is sufficiently qualified to undertake the work.

To find out whether you qualify and to set you application in motion today, visit the Global visas online assessment area. Out assessment form take minutes to complete and a one of our friendly consultants will respond to your enquiry.

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